2007 Australian Grand Prix

Better late than never, right? So the Australian Grand Prix got the 2007 season off to a good start. It wasn’t a particularly eventful race but gave a good indication of things to come. Namely that McLaren finally seem to have sorted themselves out and put together a competitive car and that Ferrari is fast. Very fast.

Kimi efficiently had the win from the moment he got pole on the Saturday. But it was excellent race drive. For most of the it he was without radio contact to the pits, since it was broken, and given their incredible pace he was able to sandbag and conserve both fuel and the engine for the next race in Sepang. And that is worrying.

As an aside, one thing that bugs me with Kimi is that he doesn’t show a great deal of emotion. He thrashed everyone in qualifying but when he came into parc ferme he gave a limp wristed punch in the air. If Schumacher had got pole, he’d have been jumping around like a Mexican jumping bean. Perhaps with more wins we’ll see more passion from Kimi?

Anyhoo, it was good to see a return to form for McLaren. Alonso looked slightly taken aback by how well Lewis Hamilton had adjusted to Formula One, but not enough to stop him qualifying second. And due to team rules (he who qualifies first, gets first pick on race strategy, fuel loads, etc) Lewis was never going to be ahead of Alonso under normal race conditions. Yes, Hamilton did a superb overtaking manoeuvre on the first corner to get in front of Alonso, but you just knew that come the second pit stop this would be reversed, and it was.

That said, Hamilton looked amazing. He was showing an aggressive driving style and was really man-handling the McLaren. I’m hoping he’ll continue like that for the rest of the season and give the other Brit drivers a kick up the arse to do better (probably not in the latter case).

Renault on the other hand seemed to fallen off into an abyss, as I pretty much expected. Fissichella just won’t cut it as lead driver and I can see him being replaced before the end of the season. Kovalanien’s performance was awful, how he finished tenth I don’t know. He spent far too much time off the track and Briatore, rightly, ripped him a new one.

And I can’t fathom Honda’s performance either. I like Buttons honesty that basically the car is a load of shit, but why is that? Especially given the budget and expertise they have. Also how can the Super Aguris be faster when they’re using last years Honda (which admittedly Button got pole with)? Will they reverse things? I don’t really care any more since it’s been the same promises of improvement for the last few seasons, but little to show for it.

Heidfeld, in the BMW, was surprise with a good qualifying position and fourth at the race end. Perhaps we’ll see them fighting more up front, not with Ferrari and McLaren though, since they seem well ahead, but with the Renaults, Williams and Toyotas. Which would be a good thing.

The end result is promising. McLaren and Ferrari looked to be fighting early on and I can’t wait for more. Sepang is next up on the 8th of April.

Stop VMWare beeping

Actually its Windows that beeps, but when running under VMWare it’s not so easy to turn the PC speaker off. You can’t go into the BIOS and disable it or unhook it from the motherboard (because there isn’t really one in this case).

However there are ways and means around this. In the directory where your Virtual Machine is, open the .vmx file for that machine in Notepad (it’s the config file for it and it’s plain text) and add the following line:

mks.noBeep = “TRUE”

Save it, restart your VM and that’s it. Job done. No more beeping.

One Yardmaster Shed!

Two Sundays of hard graft and something resembling a shed has been constructed. It’s pretty big at 3 metres wide to 2.4 metres in depth. Here you can see it in all it’s glory (with ye olde wood shed next to it):



It took about 12 hours with 4 of us faffing about. It’s not the easiest thing to put up what with it having a gazillion screws and instructions that don’t always make much sense.

ShedBible ShedInstructionsRoof

The second photo shows how to put part of the roof section together, which was the most time consuming bit. There were some screws missing for the roof frame which was a tad annoying since there were tons of screws for the rest of it. We also had to punch some holes through since some weren’t done properly to start with and also we… errr… didn’t line everything up spot on, but that’s to be expected. Other people seem to have done the same as noted in the comments on the above link.

Anyhoo, Kate got a solar powered light for it yesterday which saves a job of hooking a proper one up. We still need to go round with some silicone sealant on some of the screws, roof joints and base, but other than that it’s finished. Now we can fill it up with crap! 

What happens when the wife takes you shopping too many times

Just received this via email. I’d like to try number 3. next time I’m at Tesco’s.

This letter was recently sent by Tesco’s Head Office to a customer in Oxford:

Dear Mrs. Murray,

While we thank you for your valued custom and use of the Tesco Loyalty Card, the Manager of our store in Banbury is considering banning you and your family from shopping with us, unless your husband stops his antics. Below is a list of offences over the past few months all verified by our surveillance cameras:

  1. June 15: Took 24 boxes of condoms and randomly put them in people’s trolleys when they weren’t looking.
  2. July 2: Set all the alarm clocks in Housewares to go off at 5-minute intervals.
  3. July 7: Made a trail of tomato juice on the floor leading to feminine products aisle.
  4. July 19: Walked up to an employee and told her in an official tone, “Code 3” in housewares….. and watched what happened.
  5. August 14: Moved a ‘CAUTION – WET FLOOR’ sign to a carpeted area.
  6. September 15: Set up a tent in the outdoor clothing department and told shoppers he’d invite them in if they would bring sausages and a Calor gas stove.
  7. September 23: When the Deputy Manager asked if she could help him, he began to cry and asked, “Why can’t you people just leave me alone?”
  8. October 4: Looked right into the security camera; used it as a mirror, picked his nose, and ate it.
  9. November 10: While appearing to be choosing kitchen knives in the Housewares aisle asked an assistant if he knew where the anti-depressants were.
  10. December 3: Darted around the store suspiciously, loudly humming the “Mission Impossible” theme.
  11. December 6: In the kitchenware aisle, practised the “Madonna look” using different size funnels.
  12. December 18: Hid in a clothing rack and when people browsed, yelled “PICK ME!” “PICK ME!”
  13. December 21: When an announcement came over the loud speaker, assumed the fetal position and screamed “NO! NO! It’s those voices again.”

And; last, but not least:

  1. December 23: Went into a fitting room, shut the door, waited a while; then yelled, very loudly, “There is no toilet paper in here.”

Yours sincerely,

Charles Brown

So that’s why hell has frozen over…

S.T.A.L.K.E.R. has gone gold. Whoopee and stuff. After 6 years of development do I care? No, not really. I was really hyped up and interested in it about 2 or 3 years ago when Edge magazine ran a bunch of features on it but now in a post Gears of War world it’s going to have to be absolutely amazing.

Prey took a gazillion years to appear and it’s unique features over all the floods of FPS’s we’ve endured over the years were that you could walk on ceilings and fly around like a ghost. Oh and that you were a Cherokee. Great!

And this is why I don’t hold out much hope for S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Games that are in development for years and years are usually a big disappointment.

However, I will probably still play it, see what all the fuss is about :).